Get fit 10 minutes at a time
Experts recommend that most adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week. That might sound like a lot, but every minute you move counts toward that goal—and mini workouts can add up fast.
To tackle your big weekly fitness goals, think small. Look for ways to fit 10-minute exercise breaks into your week. Here are eight ideas to get you started.
1. TAKE THE LONG WAY.
If you have a choice between the stairs and an escalator or elevator, choose the stairs. Stair climbing is a great mini workout that gets your heart pumping. When running errands, park your car far away from the entrance.
2. MAKE IT FUN AND GAMES.
Get the whole family involved. Have a regular game night and play hide-and-seek, tag or charades. Toss a softball back and forth in the yard. Shoot hoops at the park. You don't have to be an elite athlete to enjoy active games and sports.
3. STAY IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.
You don't have to hike a forest trail to get your steps in and your heart rate up—just take a brisk walk around the block. Start slowly and increase your pace to the point where it's challenging to speak in complete sentences.
4. BREAK OUT THE TUNES.
Put on your favorite dance music and boogie in whatever way makes you feel good. Improvise your moves or check out videos online to learn a new style or choreograph your routine.
5. AMP UP HOUSEHOLD CHORES.
If you're sweeping or mopping the floor, put your whole body into it. Add lunges and squats to your laundry-folding routine. Dance while you dust.
6. HAVE AN EXERCISE BREAK DURING COMMERCIALS.
While waiting for your TV show to resume, do planks, crunches or wall pushups. Or work on your core strength by balancing on one leg for 30 seconds, then on the other leg.
7. TRY A CIRCUIT WORKOUT.
Do a variety of exercises for 30 seconds, with a rest for 30 seconds between each. Choose both cardio and strength exercises. For cardio, try jumping jacks, jogging in place or burpees. For strength, do pushups, lunges, wall sits or triceps dips. Repeat the entire circuit two or three times.
8. STRETCH OUT.
Stretching your muscles will help you feel more alert and flexible. It will also help you avoid injury and warm up your muscles before a fitness break and cool down afterward.
Taking several 10-minute fitness breaks a week is not just good for your health—it's a way to fit more fun into your schedule. Do what you enjoy, and push it to the next level.
MOTIVATED TO LEARN MORE? GET THE FACTS BEHIND SIX EXERCISE MYTHS.
- American Council on Exercise. "10 Reasons to Stretch It Out." https://www.acefitness.org/resources/pros/expert-articles/6387/10-reasons-why-you-should-be-stretching.
- American Heart Association. "Create a Circuit Home Workout." https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/create-a-circuit-home-workout.
- American Heart Association. "How to Move More Anytime Anywhere." https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/getting-active/how-to-move-more-anytime-anywhere.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity." https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/barriers.html#print.
- Eatright.org. "30-Minute Workouts for Any Schedule." https://www.eatright.org/fitness/physical-activity/workout-ideas/30-minute-workouts-for-any-schedule.
- Helpguide.org. "How to Start Exercising and Stick to It." https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/how-to-start-exercising-and-stick-to-it.htm.